Mark Whitehead 24 July 2019

Whitehall ‘failing’ to meet target for land sales

MPs have accused the Government of failing to meet its target for selling land to make way for new homes.

The parliamentary Public Accounts Committee says the Department for Housing has failed to sell the land needed to reach the 'land for new homes' target.

It says the initiative, which included building 91,000 homes, was 'chaotic and confused'.

The MPs say they 'remain frustrated that the release of public land is not translating into enough actual homes for those that need them.'

They say only 40,500 homes have been built since 2011 and the housing ministry's 'loose definition of what constitutes a new home' has inflated the figure.

The committee's chair Meg Hillier said: 'The nation’s housing crisis has been prolonged by the Government’s failure to develop a strategy for public land disposal. We are frustrated that this unique opportunity has been wasted.

'The UK needs more houses. As a major land holder, the Government is in a unique position to release land for new homes, and yet the objectives of its land disposal programmes are chaotic and confused.

'We are baffled that the programmes were not designed with a view to how many homes were needed of what type, and where – nor how the proceeds will be used.'

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